In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. Too much, in fact, for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. From Apple announcing OS X El Capitan and Facebook releasing its first game for Messenger, to Oculus unveiling its Rift consumer virtual reality headset, it’s all here.
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicked off on Monday in San Francisco, and the company had tons of announcements to share with the world. Highlights from this year’s WWDC include OS X 10.11, aka El Capitan, transit directions in Maps, the newly renamed Wallet, and the new music streaming service, Apple Music. We’ve compiled a roundup of everything you need to know from Apple’s 2015 WWDC keynote.
Facebook Messenger already gives users the ability to make video calls, share photos, audio, text, GIFs, and more with friends, and now it can officially play games, too. It was just last month that Ilya Sukhar, an executive at Facebook leading the product side for Messenger’s platform, confirmed that Facebook was looking to add games to Messenger, and now the games have begun. In early June, the Doodle Draw Game (available for iOS and Android) became the first game available on the messaging platform. Until now, the only application that came close to a game in Messenger was Talking Tom, which lets users picks their own animated avatar to deliver a fun video message.
If you’ve ever built a photo book online, you know how time-consuming it can be. From uploading all of your photos to having to arrange where the photos should go, it can take a few hours to complete your creation. On Wednesday, Shutterfly released a new app, TripPix, which allows you to create beautiful personalized photo books for every important occasion. To create a personalized photo book, all you have to do is choose 15-30 photos, describe your vacation, and then TripPix will instantly create the look and feel for your book.
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of rumors surrounding the 12.9-inch iPad, and iOS 9 holds lots of hints about the upcoming tablet. According to reports, the iPad Pro will have NFC, a stylus, and may even have a USB-C port. The iPad Pro will most likely also include several iPad Air 2 features including 2GB of RAM, Touch ID, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It’ll likely work with iOS 9’s split-screen app feature and more. You can read up on all of the iPad Pro rumors here.
Google CEO Larry Page announced on Wednesday the formation of Sidewalk Labs, which aims to make city life better for everyone. A press release on Sidewalk Labs’ website said the company has a “focus on improving city life for residents, businesses, and governments.” Sidewalk Labs will be led by Dan Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg LP and former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding in New York City. “Every time I talk with Dan I feel an amazing sense of opportunity because of his passion for all the ways technology can help transform cities to be more livable, flexible and vibrant,” Page said of Doctoroff.
On Wednesday, the top execs over at Reddit announced that five subreddits have been removed from the social news site in violation of its policy against harassing users. They include r/fatpeoplehate, which was a place to comment about fat people, and had over 150,000 subscribers. The other subreddits include r/hamplanethatred, r/transf*gs, r/neof*g and r/shitni**erssay. Reddit said in an announcement, “Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform. We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment.”
On Thursday, Oculus unveiled the Rift virtual reality headset, which will ship with a wireless Xbox One controller. The headset will offer an interface called Oculus Home, which gamers can buy, and play games and interact with other players. Preorders for the Rift will start later on this year, and it ships sometime in Q1 2016.
Twitter announced that its CEO Dick Costolo has chosen to step down on July 1, but he’ll still remain on the board. Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey will be the interim CEO. Soon after announcing his departure, Costolo tweeted, “Welcome back, Jack.” Dick Costolo said in a statement, “At this time, Dorsey remains to be Square’s CEO, and will fill in for Costolo until Twitter finds a replacement. There is no one better than Jack Dorsey to lead Twitter during this transition. He has a profound understanding of the product and Twitter’s mission in the world, as well as a great relationship with Twitter’s leadership team,” Costolo said in a release Thursday.
Sir Christopher Lee, who starred in some of the most popular film franchises of all time, has died at age 93. The British actor had been hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure, says the Guardian. His wife, Birgit Kroencke, decided to hold back the information until all friends and family members were informed. Lee played in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit films. Sir Christopher Lee and Brigit Kroencke had been married for more than 50 years and had one daughter together.
Twitter plans to remove the 140-character limit on its direct messaging feature in July, the company said in a blog post on Thursday. As of right now, the character limit for regular Tweets, will remain the same, which is also is 140 characters. “You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter,” Sachin Agarwal, Twitter’s product manager for direct messages, wrote in the post on Thursday. “Nothing! Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today.”